Wagging Bambi tails at Jardin des Plantes in ParisParis is like many a sprawling metropolis filled with people, streets, traffic and enticing views that draw you down narrow streets to explore what is perhaps not on the map. Then there are the gardens and parks, like the peaceful Jardin des Plantes botanical garden, which offer serene respites from urban hum.

Paris is a city that is filled with parks – more than 400 — from postage stamp size ones on street corners to sprawling green spaces, like the Jardin des Plantes with its 28 hectares (69 acres) that were first planted in 1626. The most beautiful thing about this plant-filled wonderland for visitors? It’s free. So you can go as often as you like, explore, rest, or people watch to your heart’s delight.

The subject: The Jardin des Plantes is not just about flowers and shrubbery, though. There is a small zoo too. And that’s where these deer were gleefully partaking in their evening meal.

The inspiration: No matter how you feel about deer, they really are cute with their little tails flicking about. Polite however? Not really. They were pushing and shoving to get to their share of that yummy grass the botanists at the Jardin des Plantes had just brought in. Some, like the one on the far right, would pull some hay out of the bin, and then step aside to enjoy it so another didn’t pull it from their mouth.

Artist’s tools: My Nikon D90 still serves me well for many an adventure, as does the 18-105mm lens f/3.5-5.6, both of which I got when I returned to photography after about 25 years! What I like about this focal length on a lens is its ability to capture almost everything for me without fiddling with changing lens or being draped with several cameras with different lenses. I’m a simple photographer like that. I was set at a 1/50th of second at f/6.3 with a focal length of 105mm. I also try to avoid over-processing so this has only the simplest of touches. This was taken in July 2012.

Map of France

In the map below, pins mark the exact location of all the sites mentioned in our articles on France. Zoom in or out on the map using the controls. Switch easily from map to satellite view. Click on each pin to pull up a tooltip with the name and any additional information. 

Tours’ Place Plumereau


Amboise Castle



Maison des Vins de Loire


Chez Paulette Restaurant and Wine Bar


Jardin des Plantes


Comptoir du Panthéon - Paris

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Therese Iknoian

Co-Conspirator at HI Travel Tales
Little did her parents know that a short trip to Europe in high school would launch a lifetime love of travel, languages and cultures. Trained as a news journalist, Therese Iknoian now focuses her writing and photography talents on travel. Fluent in German, Therese also runs a translation business (ThereseTranslates.com) working primarily with companies in the outdoor/sports/retail industry. She's a French speaker, and loves to learn a bit of the language wherever she goes -- gdje je kupaonica? Мне нужна помощь! -- often embarrassing herself in the quest for cross-cultural communication. Therese is an award-winning member of the North American Travel Journalists Association.
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